The coming year in painting: Degas, Murillo, and more

Carolus-Duran (1837–1917), Merrymakers (1870), oil, dimensions not known, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI. Wikimedia Commons.

The new year has some anniversaries of major painters which I will be marking with articles here. Here is a sampling of some of the painters whose work I will be looking at, and a few examples of the paintings in store for the coming year.

Of these anniversaries, I suspect that Degas and Murillo will be the most celebrated, in terms of books and exhibitions. All in all, 2017 promises to be a very interesting and painterly year.

10 February 1917 – John William Waterhouse (1849-1917), associated with the Pre-Raphaelite movement

John William Waterhouse (1849–1917), Ulysses and the Sirens (1891), oil on canvas, 100.6 x 201.7 cm, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia. Wikimedia Commons.
John William Waterhouse (1849–1917), Echo and Narcissus (1903), oil on canvas, 109.2 x 189.2 cm, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, England. Wikimedia Commons.

15 February 1817 – Charles-François Daubigny (1817-1878), a notable French landscape painter

Charles-François Daubigny (1817–1878), The Pond at Gylieu (1853), oil on canvas, 62.2 x 99.7 cm, Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH. Wikimedia Commons.

17 February 1917 – Carolus-Duran (1837-1917), a major French teacher, the most famous of his pupils being John Singer Sargent

Carolus-Duran (1837–1917), Merrymakers (1870), oil, dimensions not known, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI. Wikimedia Commons.

23 February 1817 – George Frederic Watts (1817-1904), associated with the Pre-Raphaelites and a major teacher and influence on British painting in the nineteenth century

'She shall be called woman' c.1875-92 by George Frederic Watts 1817-1904
George Frederic Watts (1817-1904), ‘She shall be called woman’ (c 1875–92), oil on canvas, 257.8 x 116.8 cm, The Tate Gallery (Presented by the artist 1897), London. © The Tate Gallery and Photographic Rights © Tate (2016), CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 (Unported),

8 July 1917 – Tom Thomson (1877-1917), a major Canadian landscape painter, who drowned in mysterious circumstances when canoeing in Algonquin Park

Tom Thomson (1877-1917), The West Wind (1916-17), oil on canvas, 120.7 x 137.9 cm, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. Wikimedia Commons.

1 August 1817 – Richard Dadd (1817-1886), a highly original painter who spent much of his life in institutions after he murdered his father

The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke 1855-64 by Richard Dadd 1817-1886
Richard Dadd (1817–1886), The Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke (1855-64), oil on canvas, 54 x 39.4 cm, The Tate Gallery, London (Presented by Siegfried Sassoon in memory of his friend and fellow officer Julian Dadd, a great-nephew of the artist, and of his two brothers who gave their lives in the First World War 1963). Photographic Rights © Tate 2016, CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 (Unported),

27 September 1917 – Edgar Degas (1834-1917), the ‘odd one out’ of the French Impressionists

Edgar Degas (1834–1917), Interior (‘The Rape’) (1868-9), oil on canvas, 81.3 x 114.3 cm, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA. Wikimedia Commons.
Edgar Degas (1834–1917), The Millinery Shop (1879/86), oil on canvas, 100 x 110.7 cm, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL. Wikimedia Commons.

31 October 1517 – Fra Bartolomeo (1472-1517), a major Florentine painter of the early Renaissance

Fra Bartolomeo (1472–1517), The Scene of Christ in the Temple (1516), oil, 155 x 159 cm, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria. Wikimedia Commons.

one day in December 1617 – Gerard ter Borch (1617-1681), one of the great Dutch genre painters

Gerard ter Borch (1617–1681), Woman Writing a Letter (c 1655), oil on panel, 39 × 29.5 cm, Koninklijk Kabinet van Schilderijen Mauritshuis, The Hague, The Netherlands. Wikimedia Commons.

31 December 1617 – Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617-1682), a major Spanish painter of religious works

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617-1682), Two Women at a Window (c 1655-1660), oil on canvas, 125.1 x 104.5 cm, The National Gallery of Art (Widener Collection), Washington, DC. Courtesy of The National Gallery of Art.

on a date unknown in 1717 – Alexander Cozens (1717-1786), one of the great British watercolour painters of landscapes

Alexander Cozens (1717-1786), Close of the Day: Sunset on the Coast (1768-75), oil and graphite on slightly textured laid paper, 47 x 55.9 cm, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut. Wikimedia Commons.

It is also worth bearing in mind that in 1817 the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London opened Britain’s first purpose-built public art gallery. Although less well-known than the National Gallery or the Tate, it has a superb collection of old Masters, and I am sure it will be marking this anniversary too.

Happy New Year!